The University of Wisconsin- Platteville’s Campus Programing and Relations hosted comedy hypnotist Dan Lornitis for the second year in a row. Lornitis was requested to come back to UW-Platteville by students after his performance in 2018.
Lornitis began the show by picking volunteers from the audience, but before he picked them, he explained that he could not make anyone do anything they did not want to do. He also explained that participants might not remember anything that happened while they were under hypnosis. He then selected 16 volunteers from the crowd.
“There are many theories [of being hypnotized], but basically the process is getting the person relaxed enough. The subconscious mind is always altering and always there. It’s just about getting it relaxed enough to do the suggestions,” Lornitis said.
It took a few minutes to get the volunteers into a hypnotic state. Lornitis explained to the volunteers that they needed to relax, place their hands on their lap and follow his instructions. He had the volunteers follow his directions with breathing exercises, and they had to imagine a happy place.
“I thought it was a really fun experience. It was interesting to see how hypnosis changed people’s behaviors so drastically in such a short period of time. I’d happily see it again,” secondary social studies with a history emphasis major Conor Green said.
One thing Lornitis had the volunteers do was think they were on a plane. The volunteers thought they were looking out the plane window and seeing a penguin on an iceberg, but in actuality, they were just looking at the person who was next to them. Another thing Lornitis had the volunteers do was compliment his shoes when they had their eyes open. Volunteers offered him to swap shoes with them or said that they were the most beautiful shoes that they had ever seen. He also assigned two hypnotized volunteers as laugh police. This meant that every time the audience would laugh, the volunteers would yell at the audience and blow a duck call.
“I started [learning hypnosis] sixteen years ago. I was actually hypnotized. Before that, I was a comedy magician,” Lornitis said.
Lornitis also had the volunteers think they were superheroes. They had to share what their superhero name and powers were. Some volunteers said things like twister girl who had the ability to control tornados, others said their superheroes had the ability to run fast.
“My favorite part was the superhero bit because the volunteers gave these simple but interesting answers,” Green said.
Lornitis ended the show by bringing the volunteers out of hypnosis but gave them one final request, to say “He’s great.”